Adobe executive discusses Macromedia buyout

Adobe Systems Inc. earlier on Monday revealed its intent to purchase San Francisco-based software rival Macromedia for an estimated US$3.4 billion. Adobe said that together, the two companies will meet a wider set of customer needs and have a significantly greater opportunity to grow into new markets, particularly in the mobile and enterprise segments.

While the integration of the two workforces and very similar product lines is an obvious focus for Adobe, the company would not elaborate on its plans for either in an interview today.

"We're not prepared to discuss the details of the agreement right now," Bryan Lamkin, Adobe's senior vice president Digital Imaging & Video, told MacCentral. "We have a lot of work to do in the next six months to determine what level of integration the two companies have."

However, Some of the top executive positions have been laid out. In the combined company, Adobe's Bruce Chizen will continue as chief executive officer and Shantanu Narayen will remain president and chief operating officer. Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer of Macromedia, will join Adobe as president of worldwide field operations. Murray Demo will remain executive vice president and chief financial officer.

In addition, Dr. John Warnock and Dr. Charles Geschke will remain as co-chairmen of the Board of Directors of the combined company and Rob Burgess, chairman of the Macromedia Board of Directors, will join the Adobe Board.

The companies' similar product lines and business philosophy is what drove Adobe to first look at acquiring Macromedia. Lamkin also said that "Macromedia has done a tremendous job with Flash," the company's software for creating interactive content.

"Macromedia is following a similar strategy and product line that Adobe is -- it's a natural marriage," said Lamkin. "We have a great opportunity to integrate technologies."

While not detailing the integration, Lamkin said that Adobe's mission to its customers is the same.

"Adobe's mission has not changed," said Lamkin. "We want to help people communicate better and that's what Macromedia's focus is, as well. The opportunity for Adobe now is how can we bring a better solution to our customers."

Users of Macromedia products will have to wait a bit longer before finding out the fate of their applications. However, until the deal is finalized, it's business as usual.

"We are two separate companies, although we will continue to work closely together," said Lamkin. "Until the deal passes regulatory approval we will both work on our strategies for the customer."

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